The ESB has been joined by Polish conglomerate Elektrim as potential suitors for G-8, Poland's largest power distribution group.

The Polish government formed G-8 last year by combining the country's eight northern distributors supplying power to 2.5 million households. The government initially plans to sell up to 25% in the distribution group and has set a March 2 deadline for the offers and plans to come up with a shortlist of bidders by March 23.

G-8's sales reached some 17.5 gigawatt hours of electricity and it earned revenue of over $800 million last year.

Meanwhile, the ESB National Grid, in its capacity as Ireland's Independent Transmission System Operator, announced that an all-time record peak demand for electricity of 3925 MWs was reached at 17.45 yesterday. The previous all-time peak was 3844 MWs, which was recorded on 18 December 2000.

A spokesperson for ESB National Grid said: "The demand for electricity in Ireland continues to show significant growth. Electrical energy demand for the last 12 months shows an increase of 6.8% over the previous 12-month period. We are anticipating this new peak will be exceeded over the coming weeks."